Seyi Tinubu: Like Father, Like Son

By Ayuba Ahmad.

Oluwaseyi Bola Tinubu (simply referred to as Seyi or ST) is son of Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. At thirty-eight, he is a very unique personality in several ways: He is a maverick: easy going, independent, liberal, yet meticulous, cautious and calculating, and above all, so matured in the way he carries and conducts himself, both privately and publicly.

Literally born with the proverbial “silver spoon” in his mouth, in spite of his comfort and privileges, Seyi is however, not the typical child of the powerful and affluent. Unlike most youngsters of the circumstances of his birth, majority of those who relate with him generally testify that he is genial, self-effacing and far from being haughty, condescending, loud or brash. He is an energetic young man when it comes to facing tasks before him.

As a result of his being a member of the household of the Asiwaju of Lagos, the Jagaban Borgu, Seyi, like his father, exhibits ebullience and resilience when in pursuit of a given goal. He is especially zestful on missions with bearings on his father’s political projects and interests. In other words, he exhibits that badge of a comported, diligent and an aggressively ambitious and focused personality in his own business ventures and in the political endeavours of his father.

A lawyer with first and postgraduate degrees in other fields from ivy class universities in Britain and the United States of America, Seyi is, expectedly, suave and cosmopolitan as would be expected of one that is roundly educated. Thus, the confidence in his choice to blaze his own trail, to be his own man, chart a course for himself rather than the easy option of a life under the cozy and protective wings of his parents.

“When I finished Law School, I didn’t want to be working under my father, I wanted to get the respect of my parents. I had to become my own man, and it’s all due to how my father and mother raised us,” Seyi asserted.

Surprisingly, as against going into Law practice, or seek for a high profile blue-collar career in the banking or the oil and gas sectors, which he could have had with ease, Seyi, to the amazement of friends and relatives, decided to foray into the world of advertising.

His firm, LOATSAD, an outdoor advertising company, has, within a very short space of time, burgeoned into a major player in the industry to the point of attracting clients from among the nation’s leading blue-chips and multinationals. The phenomenal success was, certainly, the cumulative result of the goal-getter spirit of clear-sighted vision, creativity, drive, single-minded commitment and the other definitive hallmarks of the Tinubu clan.

At barely thirty-eight, Seyi Tinubu has similarly demonstrated the family’s attribute of charity, philanthropy and empathy towards the less privileged. While those in close contact speak of his open-handedness in his everyday life, his Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) – TELD and THENOELLA FOUNDATION, have for several years, engaged in activities aimed at, “improving the lives of the under privileged children.” Scholarship awards and “provision of strategic advice and mentoring programs” are focal points of the activities of the NGOs’ in which, Seyi and his supportive wife, Layal, are either the CEOs or Patrons. The Crown Prince of Nigeria, in what appears as his propellant towards philanthropy, Seyi once explained in a newspaper interview: “We are grateful for the privilege we have to be in a position to help and nothing will stop us from doing more. My wife, Layal, and I, do not take the prayers and support of our partners, volunteers and well-wishers for granted. This is because, no one can do it alone,” he stated.

So far, Oluwaseyi Bola Ahmed Tinubu has not come out on the soap box, adorned in the garbs of a partisan politician. But, with all in the household of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the matriarch of the clan, Senator Oluremi (Remi) Tinubu and his big sister, the political Amazon, Alhaja Folashade Tinubu-Ojo (Iyaloja-General), politics can be said to be an inescapable, natural way of life in the household. And, Seyi has been very active, in fact, a critical player, albeit from either behind-the-scenes or frontally in the intricate political battles of his father before, during and after the epochal 2023 elections, till date.

For instance, Seyi played decisive roles, before, during and after the 2023 presidential campaign of his father by leveraging on the networks of his vast social platforms to reach out to a broad-spectrum of groups and interests. The strategy translated into an assiduous and aggressive mobilization of a gamut of youths, the intelligentsia, media practitioners, grassroots politicians and clerics of divergent faiths across the country, including women groups like never before seen in the annals of history of a President’s son.

Apart from being the President’s son, Seyi has become very popular, partly due to the fact that he always helps those in need, especially women, the less privileged and the teeming youthful population of the country. Talking about his outdoor activities, Seyi is an “unrepentant Polo enthusiast.”

Presently, Seyi is networking with a prominent Christian leader in Plateau State and another influential Islamic cleric in Niger State in a concerted effort towards promotion of peace, unity, understanding and religious harmony in the region and beyond. In fact, due to his antecedents, Seyi can be ascribed to the dictum: “Like father, like son.”

After the historic triumph of his father in the 2023 presidential election, Seyi shifted focus on the task of building bridges and setting up and fortifying structures of the nascent administration. He was recognized and respected enough to be allowed to make significant inputs in the compositions of the administration and certain strategic decisions. Very pertinently, Seyi is said to be principally instrumental to the unprecedented huge number of young men and women in the government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, especially as Ministers and others, as a result of the clarion call and clamour of Nigerians to shift from the old ways of doing things to the new.

In the same vein, he practically involved in strategic engagements and fighting along members of the “Brown Table” a close-knit group of patriots in checkmating the antics and acts of sabotage against the government of his father by disgruntled and ambitious politicians.

As it is so far, not a few keen observers of Seyi Tinubu believe that, while the president’s son has been playing the games of politics from the sidelines on a very serious level, he has, consciously or unconsciously been learning the ropes or testing the waters preparatory to his plunging into the vortex of real politik. The question one may ask is: Has he learned enough and has he garnered the requisite experience to take up the gauntlet?

Be that as it may, Seyi Tinubu has gone far down the road, clearly to the point of no return. In this regard, support for his father’s re-election in 2027 is, the real and critical challenge ahead of him as it is as well, a historic responsibility incumbent on all patriotic Nigerians. This is because, therein lies the way to the deepening and consolidation of the foundation of democracy, integration, economic prosperity and stability of our great nation – Nigeria.

*Ahmad is Kaduna-based Public Analyst and member of Brown Table Group.


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